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11 reasons soup should be your new best friend

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

The science and soul behind a good bowl of soup

Soup makes for a quick and easy comfort food, especially when it's chilly outside. But beyond the convenience factor, soup may really do a body and soul good. Read on to find out more about the "soup"er powers of your favorite hot meal.

1. It warms you up

A bowl of thick soup is certainly heartwarming. If you struggle to stay comfortable in cool weather, though, the trick to warm fingers and toes might lie in a bowl of soup. According to nutritionists, hot soup can increase your core body temperature to warm you from the inside out.

2. Cook it, and forget it

Unlike many entrées, a hearty soup is one of the few main courses that will allow you to toss its ingredients into a Dutch oven and walk away until dinnertime.

More: Spicy Asian chicken noodle soup will bust that winter cold

3. Satisfaction guaranteed

The high water content of soup means it can satisfy your appetite in a healthy and hydrating way. According to a study cited on BBC News, people who are well hydrated with soups are more satisfied with their meals and less likely to consume unnecessary calories when they eat.

4. Soup improves veggie tolerance for youngsters

A study out of the Netherlands found that toddlers who were given veggie- and herb-packed soups for seven weeks showed an improved tolerance for vegetables of all kinds when compared with toddlers who didn't eat soup. Take that, youngsters.

5. It reduces aches and pains

Chicken soup can't exactly make an illness go away, but there's a reason it's known as a natural home remedy during cold and flu season. The Mayo Clinic states that chicken soup works as an anti-inflammatory, and it can clear up mucus too. The result, of course, is the alleviation of nasty symptoms.

6. Vitamins and minerals don't disappear

Unlike other methods for cooking, soups retain the vitamins and minerals of cooked vegetables because you don't dispose of the water when you're done. That vitamin-packed water just becomes part of the savory and delicious broth.

More: DIY 'cup noodles' — an instant lunch you won't be embarrassed to eat at work

7. It's hard to mess up

Do you struggle to pull off a palatable meal each evening? Soups are notoriously difficult meals to mess up. If you're not pleased with your first attempt, just add more of something, and it'll turn out fine.

8. Easily low fat and high fiber

Unless you go for a cream-based soup, most soups are full of beans, lean meats and vegetables. All these ingredients are known for their low-fat and high-fiber composition, which makes soup a wonderfully healthy meal option.

9. Soup is a veggie vehicle

Since ratios and measurements aren't a strict science for soup recipes, you can play around with adding vegetables to the meal. Purée squash and root vegetables into your soup for a creamier and heartier version without added fat or unnecessary calories.

10. Its aroma fills your home

Is there anything better than the aroma of savory herbs and veggies filling your home in winter? Nope.

More: Deep-fried Goldfish cracker shooters are the best way to eat tomato soup

11. Simple to freeze and reheat

As if you're not yet convinced, soups transition well from the stove to the freezer and then to the microwave. Make a giant pot of soup one evening, and you can turn it into a tasty lunch for days to come.

The science and soul behind a good bowl of soup
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Updated by Bethany Ramos on 2/10/16

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